Support for Children Affected by HIV and AIDS
To assess progress in providing support to households that are caring for orphaned and vulnerable children aged 0–17.
As the number of orphaned and vulnerable children continues to grow, adequate support to families and communities needs to be assured. In practice, care and support for orphaned children comes from families and communities. As a foundation for this support, it is important that households be connected to additional support from external sources. External support is defined as help free of charge coming from a source other than friends, family or neighbours unless they are working for a community-based group or organization. Ideally, this support should be designed along the national guidelines for OVC support where these exist.
Number of orphaned and vulnerable children aged 0–17 years who live in households that received at least one of the four types of support for each child (for survey, answered “yes” to at least one of questions 1, 2, 3 and 4)
Total number of orphaned and vulnerable children aged 0–17 (only applicable in survey methods).
Numerator / Denominator
The data should be collected through program monitoring reports of implementing partners on a routine basis. These records are compiled and aggregated to obtain an overall measure of the reach of the care and support for orphans and vulnerable children. Implementers at the community level need to devise reliable tracking mechanisms that capture accurate data to avoid double counting. There is a need to ensure that clients served (as opposed to client visits) for the same service or across services are counted. Since the routine monitoring is self-reported by implementing entities, compliance with national guidelines will only be measured periodically through supervision, assessments and the survey methods proposed.
Population-based surveys as described below (Demographic and Health Survey, AIDS Indicator Survey, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey or other representative surveys) are complementary validation methods for this indicator and need to be implemented every 2-5 years for a measurement of coverage. The OVC national program or such entity therefore needs to plan accordingly and allocate resources for this exercise.
Clear information flow mechanisms and tools (devised by national-level partners or bodies) are needed that capture this kind of community data into national-level databases. Different types of services will all be taken into account in estimating overall service coverage.
For the survey method, after all orphaned and vulnerable children aged 0–17 years in the household have been identified; the household heads are asked the following four questions about the types and frequency of support received and the primary source of the help for each orphan and vulnerable child. Each question is to be asked for each child.
1. Has this household received medical support, including medical care and/or medical care supplies, within the last three months?
2. Has this household received school-related assistance, including school fees, within the last three months? (This question is to be asked only for children aged 5–17 years.)
3. Has this household received emotional or psychological support, including counseling from a trained counselor and/or emotional or spiritual support or companionship within the last three months?
4. Has this household received other social support, including socioeconomic support (such as clothing, extra food, financial support or shelter) and/or instrumental support (such as help with household work, training for caregivers, child care or legal services) within the last three months?
Every 2-4 years
This indicator should only be monitored in settings with high HIV prevalence (5% or greater). The
indicator does not measure the needs of the household or the orphans and vulnerable children. Additional questions could be added to measure expressed needs of families caring for orphans. The indicator implicitly suggests that all households with orphans and vulnerable children need external support; some orphans and vulnerable children are more in need of external support than others. Therefore, it is important to disaggregate the information by other markers of vulnerability such as socioeconomic status of the household, dependency ratio, head of the household, etc.
If sample sizes permit, it may be useful for programmatic purposes to investigate differences between
values for this indicator for orphans versus other vulnerable children. It may also be –useful to look at
data disaggregated by age and duration of orphanhood, as both play a key role in determining the type of
support needed. For example, an orphan whose parent(s) died 10 years ago will need support of a different kind from one whose parent(s) died within the past year.
When considering the four types of support separately, data for school-related assistance should be limited
to children aged 5–17.